Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) will launch a new Internet-based reservations system for retailers in March called Espresso, its first complete upgrade since it introduced CruiseMatch in 1990.
Espresso will modernize the functions that travel agents use to book cruises, making them more productive, company executive said. It will be used by all of the RCCL brands, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.
“Espresso will help agents focus more on their customers, rather than looking at their computer screens,” said Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president for sales at Celebrity.
She said it would be a faster, more powerful, more intuitive system that will shorten the number of steps to make an online booking from seven to five.
Another feature enables agents to compare up to four potential bookings at one time.
Espresso will be optimized for mobile phones and tablets, which is important to home agents visiting clients, said Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president of sales.
It will have a robust function for providing past guest information, she said.
RCCL will hold a series of in-person training sessions in six cities around the country in February and March before launch. There will also be webinars, a three-minute instructional video, and an online site that simulates Espresso, at http://www.espressocbt.com.
Royal plans to run Espresso concurrently with Cruise Match for three to four months to enable agents to get up to speed.
CruiseMatch was launched as a GDS system in 1990 and converted to be primarily Web-based in 1998, with further upgrades in 2007 and 2009.